Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Johny Hendricks is taking his fight camp on the road — literally — as he gears up for a middleweight showdown against Brazilian banger Paulo Henrique Costa.
Unlike Bugs Bunny, “Bigg Rigg” will take that left turn at Albuquerque, setting up shop at the famed Jackson-Wink MMA academy in New Mexico, home to a bevy of top UFC stars and even former opponents like Carlos Condit.
Hendricks (18-7) was expected to find a new lease on his combat sports life after abandoning the rough waters at 170 pounds. Unfortunately, whatever issues plagued him at welterweight continue to haunt him in the higher division.
The bearded brawler missed weight for UFC Fight Night 112, then got turned inside out by veteran “Barbarian” Tim Boetsch, the fourth loss in five attempts for the rapidly-fading slugger.
It will be interesting to see if the change in scenery can also change his results for the upcoming UFC 217 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Nov. 4, 2017, scheduled for the historic Madison Square Garden arena in New York City.
Costa (10-0) put the division on notice with his blistering, first-round technical knockout win over Gareth McLellan at UFC Fight Night 106, then followed it up with another violent finish over Oluwale Bamgbose just three months later.
“Borrachinha” has 10 finishes in 10 wins.
UFC 217 is expected to be headlined by the five-round middleweight title fight pitting reigning champion Michael Bisping opposite former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, while Cody Garbrandt puts his 135-pound title on the line in the bantamweight championship co-headliner against TJ Dillashaw.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 217 click here.